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Crisis Management and Business Continuity Planning in Facility Management

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Organizations employ crisis management and business continuity planning, two related but different ideas, to plan for and respond to disruptive events that can affect their capacity to function.

The process of handling an unforeseen and potentially dangerous scenario that jeopardizes an organization's personnel, clients, reputation, or day-to-day operations is referred to as crisis management. Natural disasters, cyberattacks, and crises in public relations are examples of such things. The purpose of crisis management is to lessen the harm brought on by the incident and to swiftly resume regular business activities for the firm.

Business Continuity Planning, on the other hand, refers to the process of creating a plan to ensure that an organization can continue to operate during and after a disruptive event. This can include events such as power outages, equipment failures, or supply chain disruptions. The goal of business continuity planning is to minimize the impact of the event on the organization's operations and to quickly return to normal operations.

In a facility system, it is a common occurrence to experience unexpected service hiccups, natural disasters or crises disrupting normal operational activities. To manage this situation more effectively, Facility Managers are expected to perform the following:

  1. Conduct a risk assessment: Assess the potential risks that your facility may face and identify the likelihood and potential impact of each risk. This will help you to prioritize your efforts and allocate resources effectively.

  2. Develop a crisis management or emergency response plan that outlines how your organization will respond to a crisis. This plan should include procedures for evacuating the facility, communicating with employees and stakeholders, and coordinating with emergency responders.

  3. Establish a Backup systems such as generators and alternative communication channels. These are essential for maintaining critical systems and services during a crisis.

  4. Provide regular training and testing of emergency response plans through regular drills necessary for identifying areas for improvement and ensuring their effectiveness.

  5. Review and update plans regularly: Review and update your crisis management and business continuity plans regularly to ensure that they remain relevant and effective. This should include testing the plans through simulations and real-life scenarios to identify areas for improvement.

In essence, crisis management in facility management is responsible for managing and mitigating long-term or irreversible brand, reputation, societal, and stakeholder risk. In contrast, the objective of business continuity planning is to manage operations and profitability in the short, medium, and long term.

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